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Sericulture in India

Introduction

Silk is the most elegant textile in the world with unparalleled grandeur, natural sheen, and inherent affinity for dyes, high absorbance, light weight, soft touch and high durability and known as the “Queen of Textiles” the world over. On the other hand, it stands for livelihood opportunity for millions owing to high employment oriented, low capital intensive and remunerative nature of its production. The very nature of this industry with its rural based on-farm and off-farm activities and enormous employment generation potential has attracted the attention of the planners and policy makers to recognize the industry among one of the most appropriate avenues for socio-economic development of a largely agrarian economy like India.

Silk has been intermingled with the life and culture of the Indians. India has a rich and complex history in silk production and its silk trade dates back to 15th century. Sericulture industry provides employment to approximately 8.25 million persons in rural and semi-urban areas in India during 2015-16. Of these, a sizeable number of workers belongs to the economically weaker sections of society, including women. India’s traditional and culture bound domestic market and an amazing diversity of silk garments that reflect geographic specificity have helped the country to achieve a leading position in silk industry.

Silk production in India

India has the unique distinction of being the only country producing all the five known commercial silks, namely, mulberry, tropical tasar, oak tasar, eri and muga, of which muga with its golden yellow glitter is unique and prerogative of India.

Mulberry sericulture is mainly practised in five states namely, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Bodoland, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu are major silk producing states in the country. North East has the unique distinction of being the only region producing four varieties of silk viz., Mulberry, Oak Tasar, Muga and Eri. Overall NE region contributes 18% of India's total silk production.

India is the second largest producer of silk in the world. Among the four varieties of silk produced in 2015-16, Mulberry accounts for 71.8% (20,434 MT), Tasar 9.9% (2,818 MT), Eri 17.8% (5,054 MT) and Muga 0.6% (166 MT) of the total raw silk production of 28,472 MT.

The demand for superior quality bivoltine silk is increasing in India for domestic consumption as well as value added silk products for the export market. The Ministry of Textiles Government of India and Departments of Sericulture in various states provide technical and financial assistance for enhancing the bivoltine silk production.

Policy initiatives recently taken for the development of silk industry

Sericulture is the functional area under the Ministry of Textiles. Some of the recent policy initiatives taken by the Ministry to promote sericulture are as follows.

  • Sericulture is included as agriculture allied activity under RKVY. This enables the sericulturists to avail the benefits of the scheme for the entire sericulture activities up to reeling.
  • The CSB (Amendment) Act, Rules and Regulations have been notified by the Govt. of India to bring quality standards in silkworm seed production.
  • Forest Conservation Act has been amended to treat non mulberry sericulture as forest based activity enabling the farmers to undertake Vanya silkworm rearing in the natural host plantation in the forests.
  • Anti dumping duty on Chinese raw silk - The Director General of Antidumping & Allied Duties (DGAD), New Delhi has recommended imposition of antidumping duty on Chinese raw silk of 3A Grade & Below in the form of fixed duty of US$ 1.85 per Kg on the landed cost of imported raw silk vide notification No.14/17/2014/DGAD dated 4-12-2015.
  • CDP-MGMREGA convergence guideline have been finalized and issued jointly by the MOT and MORD. These guidelines will help sericulture farmers to avail assistance from MGNREGA scheme.

Source : Ministry of Textiles, Government of India



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